- Official planting programme held at Angunakolapelessa
By Chaturanga Samarawickrama
While adding an auspicious time to planting a tree as a ritual for the 2021 Sinhala and Tamil New Year, Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said their goal is to increase the country’s forest cover to 30 percent by 2025.
The official planting programme was held under the patronage of Minister Amaraweera at his home garden in Angunakolapelessa, last morning.
The National Astrological Committee had included a new auspicious ritual for the 2021 Sinhala and Tamil New Year as a special auspicious time to plant a tree. Accordingly, the auspicious times’ committee had recommended that the saplings be planted facing east at the auspicious time of 6.40 a.m. on April 16.
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa presented a white sandalwood sapling to Minister Amaraweera on Thursday (15).
“There are 5.3 million families in our country. The Environment Ministry appealed to the people to join this tree planting auspicious time for all of them irrespective of race or religion. Also, if it is possible to plant at least three million saplings today, and our country will go down in history as the country that planted the largest number of saplings in one day, at one moment. Although we did not particularly expect this, perhaps if this number of plants were planted in our country today, it would probably be a world record,” the Minister said.
It could have been a record as no other country has ever had such a planting on the same day, at the same time. Also, every year after this, on the day after the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, we would be carrying out such tree planting programmes in an even more organised manner. We did not spend even one rupee of government money on this project and it is the private sector that has made all the contributions for this programme.